Choosing a care facility for an elderly loved one is not an experience any of us look forward to. If we’re lucky, we never have to face that challenge. Our elderly parents or other relatives manage to stay relatively independent or can be easily cared for by us or other caregivers in our home or even stay in their own homes with a little help.
However, inevitably some of us are forced to make the difficult decision to place our loved ones in a care facility for any number of reasons. If and when that time comes, we do want to make the best possible choice.
We want our parents in a comfortable, clean, well-run facility with highly trained, knowledgeable and caring staff. We want them to get all the attention and care they want and need when they want and need it.
Under no circumstances do we want them ever to feel isolated, put out to pasture or pushed aside because they’ve become a problem. We’ll do all we can to make sure they are treated with dignity and respect and they feel deeply loved and highly regarded.
Why? Because they’re our parents or someone important to us and that’s exactly what we want if we ever get to that point ourselves.
The first decision that needs to be made when choosing a care facility is what type is needed.
It all depends on what the patient needs. If they are capable of most basic daily activities but possibly need help dressing or organizing their medications or even toileting, they would probably do fine in an assisted living facility.
Generally, assisted living places provide light housekeeping, laundry services, transportation, organized social and cultural activities, exercise programs, meals and some personal assistance. They also allow for more privacy and independence than other types of facilities.
If the patient needs more medical attention and is not capable of performing most personal daily activities without assistance, a nursing home is more appropriate. They have smaller staff to resident ratios and usually have nurses on duty around the clock.
If the patient has mental health problems such as dementia, disorientation or confusion, the best facility would be a memory home or nursing home trained and qualified to deal with those kinds of issues.
Once it’s determined which kind of facility is needed, you want to look for certain signs regardless of the type. Also, ask for recommendations from friends, clergy, relatives and community leaders.
Have you had any experience choosing a care facility for a loved one? Suggestions and recommendations for finding the right one are welcome.